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When is Woodworm not Woodworm?

8 April 2013

We were called out to quote for some woodworm treatment in Bradford, West Yorkshire.

Woodworm is a generic term and can be misused or accidentally used where similar looking beetles are found.

When anyone talks of ‘woodworm’ they are normally talking about The Common Furniture beetle Anobium punctatum.? This can be a very damaging pest; eating floors, staircases and roof timbers.

Whilst these are sometimes discovered as holes in timber, the adult beetles also make an apperance in the summer months, so when a client in Bradford found chocolate coloured beetles in her bedroom window sills, alarm bells rang.

She booked three timber specialists to come and look at the problem. We were her first call, but we couldn’t attend for a couple of weeks and she was worried, so other, less busy timber specialists were asked too.

Both were shown the beetles and both then issued quotations for treatment to the bedroom floors.

Our surveyor, (Bryan Hindle CSRT CSSW) arrived yesterday and on seeing the beetles he grinned and told the lady to rest easy “These are biscuit Beetles not common furniture beetle, they look similar but under a X10 hand lens the difference is obvious”

After a chat the source of the problem was traced to old dog biscuits under the kitchen sink and these were thrown away. That’s when she showed Bryan the two written quotes for the woodworm treatments – one from a wakefield based timber specialist and another from a Bradford-base specialist timber treatment firm.

It turned out that both these firms advertised free surveys, whilst of course our survey was charged at £65.00.

Our Bradford client is delighted that she waited a week or so before placing any orders and especially when she had already had two free opinions to go by…. just goes to show, you don’t get anything for nothing.

It’s not just a case of money saved (though these days that’s important), there’s the environment to take account of too. The client has a baby girl sharing her bedroom and the use of a pesticide without due cause is both wasteful and potentially illegal.

As this is the technical articles page we brought the Biscuit beetle home to photograph and display, so that you can tell the difference yourselves.

The difference is clear and only a small power hand lens is needed – look at the ‘hood’ over the head. See that in the Common Furniture Beetle it has a sharpe angle, almost 90o! The Stegobium paniceum has a rounded hood with no angle – easy.
For accurate surveys by properly qualified timber infestation surveyors anywhere in Bradford and across Yorkshire call us for free on 0800 591 541 or use the form on the contact us page.

Stegobium - Woodworm which is not Woodworm Close up of Common Furniture Beetle, Anobium Punctatum